Washington Post political writer and frequent “This Week” panelist, George F. Will just bought himself an excommunication from the Republican party and perhaps the conservative movement as a whole. Like few of his peers, David Frum comes to mind, Will dared to speak truth about the insanity that is far right-wing politics and its damaging effect on GOP chances in 2012.
The trigger for Will’s excellent column in Sunday’s paper was damn-fool Mike Huckabee’s assertion that Obama’s fictional biography of growing up in Kenya influenced his world outlook to the detriment of the United States. Will writes:
If pessimism is not creeping on little cat’s feet into Republicans’ thinking about their 2012 presidential prospects, that is another reason for pessimism. This is because it indicates they do not understand that sensible Americans, who pay scant attention to presidential politics at this point in the electoral cycle, must nevertheless be detecting vibrations of weirdness emanating from people associated with the party.
The most recent vibrator is Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas …
Huckabee was “provoked” into his preposterous hypothesis by radio show host Steve Malzberg questioning just how much do we really know about “this guy” Obama. Will goes on to say:
Republicans should understand that when self-described conservatives such as Malzberg voice question-rants like the one above and Republicans do not recoil from them, the conservative party is indirectly injured. As it is directly when Newt Gingrich, who seems to be theatrically tiptoeing toward a presidential candidacy, speculates about Obama having a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” mentality.
To the notion that Obama has a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview, the sensible response is: If only. Obama’s natural habitat is as American as the nearest faculty club; he is a distillation of America’s academic mentality; he is as American as the other professor-president, Woodrow Wilson. A question for former history professor Gingrich: Why implicate Kenya?
Then Will elegantly and directly delivers the coup de grâce:
Let us not mince words. There are at most five plausible Republican presidents on the horizon – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Utah governor and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, former Massachusetts governor Romney and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.
So the Republican winnowing process is far advanced. But the nominee may emerge much diminished by involvement in a process cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons.
And to be clear, when Will references “careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates”, he is referring to Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann to name a few doozies.
Sadly, the already lost members of the far right will label George Will a traitor in much the same way they dismiss David Frum. Yet the fact remains that Will and Frum are two of too few folks on the conservative side willing to call out the loonies. It is safe to say that by November of 2012, our country will have made insufficient progress for Obama’s reelection to be a slam dunk. The one way to ensure Obama’s reelection is for the GOP to ignore the voice of George Will. Judging from the popularity of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, liberals like me are counting on Will being ignored and another four years of Barack Obama being an inevitability.